Court-based Programs

Education and Information Sites

LIFT’s Education and Information Sites are located in the Family Courts in all five boroughs of New York City. Often the first friendly face in an otherwise busy and confusing system, we provide immediate answers to urgent legal questions and assist litigants in navigating the court buildings. Our staff members possess the expertise needed to help litigants move forward. Those seeking assistance need only look for the purple tablecloth—there, they can ask pressing questions to a member of LIFT’s staff and pick up copies of our Legal Resource Guides, covering nearly 40 different topics and printed in eight different languages. The Sites are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

We work with hundreds of people each day at the Sites. They are a key source of support and otherwise unavailable legal information, and provide a gateway to our other holistic services.

Family Legal Centers

LIFT operates Family Legal Centers at the Family Courts in all five boroughs. Through this program, LIFT provides in-depth, ongoing support to litigants proceeding without a lawyer in child support, custody and visitation cases. For the working poor who cannot afford counsel, LIFT is essential. These litigants have no other place to turn to receive the critical tools they need to represent themselves. FLC assistance is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Each participant is teamed with a Legal Program staff member who will be their primary point of contact, whether for weeks or for months. Each Center is located in a private, quiet office away from the chaos that confronts litigants elsewhere in the Courthouse. Here, participants can:

  • learn about rights and options for their cases, evidentiary standards, procedural rules, and jurisdictional issues;
  • get explanations on the purpose of various documents, and assistance in completing these documents;
  • receive guidance in formulating and practicing the argument they will present before a judge; and
  • request accompaniment to court appearances for emotional support and follow-up questions.

Each year, the Centers work with over 1,500 participants to achieve their family law goals.